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Write and Organize for Deeper Learning: 28 evidence-based and easy-to-apply tactics that will make your instruction better for learning (Make It Learnable) Paperback – 24 Apr 2017
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About the Author
Patti Shank is an internationally recognized learning designer and analyst, researcher, and author who is cited as one of the elite international learning experts. She works with organizations to analyze and find solutions for organizational performance needs and is regularly asked to speak at conferences and train trainers, instructors, designers, and experts. Patti authored, co-authored, or edited numerous learning books and eBooks. She was an award-winning contributing editor for Online Learning Magazine and the research director for the eLearning Guild. You can find her articles and research in eLearning Guild publications, Magna Publications’ Online Classroom, eLearning Industry articles, and ATD’s Science of Learning and Senior Leaders and Executives blogs.
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The book begins with a description of the six areas that underpin learnability - readability, usability, memory, prior knowledge, cognitive load and metacognition - with a clearly explained summary of the research that underpins each of them.
Patti Shank then moves on to the four strategies that form the backbone of the book - understanding your audience's needs, writing for clarity, making text readable and legible, and organising for memory and use - and outlines detailed tactics for each of them.
For me, 'Strategy 4: Organize for Memory and Use' was the most useful section because she has some interesting thoughts on this neglected area.
What is impressive is that Patti Schank has practised what she preaches both in making the book easy to read and, with the addition of the checklist at the end, easy to implement.
I'm looking forward to the forthcoming books in the series.
Also, from the way the books are structured, you can tell that the author put a lot of thought into how you, as the reader, will get the most out of the books (i.e. make them learnable :-)). I’ve read quite a few books before in which the author’s told me to stop reading and do something (such as writing a list of something…) and in 99% of the cases, I’ve been like nah…I don’t have a pen…or paper at hand, I’ll do it later, let’s keep on reading… Patti Shank is actually the first writer who really made me stop, reflect on what I’ve read and put it into my own words. It’s NOT easy, and it’s been slowing down my reading process considerably, but it is worth it! A lot of concepts that had been kind of fuzzy notions in my head have become clear, precise and explainable which makes me feel more confident in my role as a true L&D professional.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
For experienced instructional designers and others who are already good writers, many of these tactics will confirm what you're already doing. For example, determining your key points and using active voice are actions you may have learned from other sources. I found the reminders helpful, and it will make me focus on some tactics I knew but hadn't been using (like checking readability statistics).
I also find books like this helpful in justifying my decisions to clients. I will be pulling this out again and referring to it the next time a client argues with me that their content is so serious that it must be written with a stiff, formal tone rather than a conversational, plain language style.
If you are new or wanting to move into the learning profession, this book is a good start. It will point you in wonderful directions.
If you have new learning professionals on your team or people wanting to join your learning team, this is the book you should give them. Heck, you should probably read through it yourself. It will remind you of all those things you really should do every time.
I can't wait for the next book in this "Make it Learnable" series!